Often the biggest battle when it comes to getting fit isn’t the one with your body – it’s the one in your head. No matter how motivated, everyone has those days when merely showing up for an early-morning or late-night workout at the fitness center is an accomplishment. Instead of phoning it in the next time you feel defeated before you even start, try one of these motivation techniques and you’ll be hurdling past those mental barriers.
Remember Your “Why” – What’s Your Motivation?
We all work out for different reasons: to improve our health, get better at a sport we love, lose weight, look and feel good, or maybe just to keep up with our kids. Whatever your “why,” visualizing it can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel of tough workouts. Use literal visual reminders like notecards or pictures in your fitness gym locker, or use gear with motivational mantras that remind you every time you see them.
Imagine You Have an Audience
Many of us find we work out harder with less effort when we’re around others – even strangers. Imagining yourself being watched by your coach, your friendly fitness rival, a judge in a fitness competition, or a crowd of cheering spectators is a mental game that can help you push a little harder even when you’re alone.
Break Up the Workout into Milestones
If you’re pushing for a new time, distance, speed, or rep goal, break up your workout into smaller segments that seem less daunting. For instance, if you want to run six miles on the treadmill, split it up into three two-mile goals. Feeding your ego with mini-accomplishments will boost your confidence and help you power through.
Try A Different Counting or Measuring Method
If you always count up when you lift weights, why not count down for a change? If you usually measure your cardio session in minutes, why not miles? This is just another way to trick your brain into wanting to do more to reach a particular number.
It’s okay to brag to yourself about how tough you are for sticking through a killer workout when you don’t feel like it. You are doing something many, many other people won’t do!
Promise Yourself a Reward
Make a deal with yourself: if you stay strong through this workout, you’ll be tangibly rewarded with a rest day, a massage, a night out with friends, or some new workout gear. Choose something you consider a treat, but steer away from unhealthy foods that will sabotage your results.
Remember the Post-Workout ‘High’
Very few people regret putting their best effort into a tough workout. Besides the sense of accomplishment, you’ll feel energized, your muscles will be more limber, and your body will be swimming in feel-good endorphins. Remember that feeling at the start of your workout, and it will give you yet another reason to follow through.
We’re our own worst enemies when it comes to accomplishing fitness goals. Fight back by training your body and your mind so you’ll get the most out of every fitness center workout.